Wednesday, August 31, 2011

another absolutely posh video

A couple of weeks ago I shared the first video of Victoria Beckham's dress collection campaign. Here is another one, for Bergdorf Goodman. This was for Fall a couple of years ago and somehow reminded me of school days, learning the colors:
 "red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet". 

Wish I was swinging today!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

chocolate chip cookies

I am not that great of a baker...I try, and find it quite a success if I manage to not set off the smoke alarm. My dad informs me that I have talents elsewhere, to make me feel slightly better. Despite my trial and error cooking style, I will keep trying. I might never be Martha Stewart, but it doesn't mean I can't be inspired nonetheless. 

A couple of weeks ago, I brought out the oven mitts for another cooking attempt! My younger brother was away at camp for a month and I promised him I'd send some cookies his way...god willing the oven and mother nature worked out on my side. I am pretty good with making chocolate chip cookies and usually stick true to the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag, but this time I tried something different. 

I used the recipe Lexi's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies from 
Martha Stewart's Menus for Entertaining Cookbook. 

The first two batches of cookies I sort of neglected in the oven, so they ended up a little crisp, (sometimes I get a little distracted...) but the rest were WONDERFUL and oh so delicious. They even made it all the way up to Northern Michigan and were devoured by a hungry camper!

Here's the recipe for you to try:

Lexi's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 30 4-inch cookies
*Actualy they are everyone's favorite chocolate chip cookies*
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soften
3 cups of brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (although you can never have too many!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Cream the butter in a large bowl until smooth; add the brown and granulated sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended.
In another large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat this into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes until golden brown.
Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool on a rack. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

waiting to be worn...

I wish I had this dress to put on tonight! It looks beautiful, especially with the accented jewels...and great for these last few remaining summer nights. 
What is your dream outfit for tonight??

Friday, August 26, 2011

find me some dancing shoes

"To be fond of dancing is one step closer to falling in love."
-Jane Austen

Is Mr. Darcy included??

As I enter into my first weekend back at school...we'll see if anyone will dance to impress, whisking me off the dance floor.
Because it ALL starts with a fabulous pair of dancing shoes!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest Post from Sam at Fitness, Food, and Faith

Hi Twirling Clare fans!! Sam here from fitness, food, and faith.  Clare asked me to do a little motivational post on health and fitness for college students. Sometimes it feels impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while living in a dorm room surrounded by junk food, parties, and the constant desire to just take a nap!  I wasn’t always the healthiest during college, but those four years were when my love of group exercise and cooking meals really started to develop. 

Here are my tips for living a healthy life as a college student:

-          Learn to shop for groceries.  Buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and keep the processed food to a minimum.  Fruit like bananas and oranges are easy to throw in a backpack and don’t even require washing!

-          Drink lots and lots of water.  I would fill up my Nalgene bottle several times during the day and always had it with me in class, at the library, or hanging out in my dorm room.

-          Walk or bike to class.  Skipping the bus or car will allow a little extra exercise every day that can really add up over a semester.  Avoid walking or biking in flip flops if you can.  A sturdier shoe will be better for your foot.

-          Wear Sunscreen.  College students are outside a lot between walking to class, studying on a bench, or grabbing a quick lunch in the courtyard.  Plan ahead and put sunscreen on every morning even if you don’t think you’ll be outside for that long.

-          Eat breakfast every morning (and try to keep those Chick Fil A biscuits to a minimum!) and pack plenty of healthy snacks to last you all day (here are a few snack ideas).  I also found it hard to learn proper portion size when faced with an all-you-can-eat cafeteria 3 times a day.  Think about how you are fueling your body instead of mindlessly plowing into a huge bag of chips.

-          Take advantage of on-campus fitness facilities.  When I was studying at Texas A&M, I really fell in love with kickboxing, indoor cycling, and strength training classes.  Now I enjoy teaching all of those classes and realize how motivational group exercise can be.

-          Find other fun ways to get in exercise like a quick game of Frisbee between classes, joining an intramural team, jogging or hiking with a new friend, jump roping in your dorm room, or running the stairs of your football stadium. Here are some exercises you can do in your dorm room.

-          Know your limit with alcohol and don’t use college as an excuse to overdo it consistently.  Peer pressure is a crazy thing, but it’s not worth over-indulging for your health and wellbeing!

-          Develop a healthy and consistent bed time routine.  Try not to pull all nighters, and if you can, don’t study in bed. Here is a blog post I wrote with the help of my husband on good sleep health  that is especially important for college students.  You may want to find some earplugs if you have a hard time falling asleep in a noisy dorm room.

-          Find ways to manage stress and anxiety by making time for yoga or quiet relaxation, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress eating.  A quick phone call home or a study break with a friend always helped me to refocus and get rid of some anxiety.  Also, I found focusing on others (helping with the kids at church or volunteering in the community) gave me a better perspective and slowed that negative spiral that can happen during stressful times.

I’d love to “meet” you, so swing on by fitness, food, and faith when you get the chance and say hi!  I post 2-3 healthy recipes each week along with additional health and fitness tips. 

Thanks, Clare, for having me! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

back to school in blue and white

As I head back to the grind of endless days at the library, plenty of school work, meetings to last me a life-time, and the trials of independent living that I still have yet to master (laundry anyone?? It's the worst)...I have to make sure I can at least look the part of a stylin' student!

My go to colors right now are white and blue (all shades) thanks to these lovely inspirations pics! They are summery and fresh as we still have a few weeks to enjoy the summer sun. These are a superb color combo, so classic and easy/effortless...just what I am looking for now! They are also a great base if you choose to add any pop of color with accessories! Try sporting a colorful tote, a statement necklace, some bold flats...or some bright nails!

Friday, August 19, 2011

beachin days

Nothing is like a beach day with beautiful and colorful umbrellas!!!

Here's to the lovely afternoons with sand in your toes, seagulls cawing, waves crashing...and the occasional sand artist professionals next to you making elaborate creations!

It's my last weekend of summer before school starts back and even though it will be filled primarily with packing, running errands, and saying goodbyes...I'll keep dreaming of being on the sea shore somewhere!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

dot me everywhere!

1. Marc Jacobs Polka-dot wool fleece sweater $1,330
2. Sonia by Sonia Rykei Polka-dot silk blend cardigan $540
3. Tall Cream Polk Dot Tee Topshop $36
4. Tara Jarmon Navy Silk Dress with Polka Dots $585
5. Acne 'Romantic Dot' Silk Shirt $825
6. Microbe Navy Blue and White Polka Dot Shorts $90
7. becksondergaard/Silk Scarf Polka Chrystal $64
8. Pieces Dulla Spot Earrings Asos $8.62
9. Kate Spade New York Didi $268
10. Barney's New York Polka Dot folding umbrella $130
11. Marc by Marc Jacobs D1 Classic Marc Polka Dot Dome Ring $61
12. Asos Mikey Polka Dot Slipper Shoes $52
13. Kate Spade Polka Dot Handbag
14. Pieces Dulla Spot Earrings $8.62
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